One of the most notable new additions to the cast of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the inclusion of the pirate that gave Luffy his iconic straw hat and inspired him to take up piracy, Red Haired Shanks. Despite his role in the world of One Piece, much about Shanks is left in mystery, but he is known for being one of the most powerful pirates currently sailing the seas.
Such a powerful character was never going to be easily unlocked and Shanks certainly provides a challenge. Unlike the majority of characters in Pirate Warriors 3 that are unlocked simply by playing through the story levels, Shanks (along with a handful of other characters including Ace) can only be unlocked via the Dream Log. The Dream Log is something of an equivalent to a filler episode in the anime series. The missions are simpler and shorter than the ones found in the story mode and provide more of a traditional Warriors experience in that there’s a greater focus on capturing all the territories and less specific objectives to complete.
Early on in the Dream Log, there’s a mission where you help out Coby with his marine training. This is one of a handful of missions that let you choose which side you want to fight on, in this case: Coby or the Marines. The difference between each side is fairly minimal and usually just consists of a slightly altered set of objectives. The goals for Coby’s side has you take over key territories on the map along with taking out key members of the opposing army. Each time you start a mission in the dream log, you’ll be randomly paired up with anyone from the large cast of characters available. You’ll see characters teamed up with longtime rivals as well as battling against close comrades. In this mission, Coby always comes into battle with you (if you’re playing on his side) but I was also partnered with Bellamy, one of the early villains in One Piece and had to go up against Akainu and Chopper. As you’re playing, the characters will interact with other and comment on the battle. If the characters involved know each other, they’ll sometimes mention something specific to those characters and it’s fun to see the villains compliment Luffy and the other Straw Hat Pirates.
Each mission in Dream Log is set on a island and it’s up to you how you want to navigate them. Heading directly down the middle of the map is the quickest path to Shanks but also the toughest, as the recommended level for each mission jumps up quickly going down that path. If you spread out to the paths heading left or right, the level in increase is more gradual, providing a more natural progression. If you’ve been marathoning the story mode missions, the required levels won’t be as much of an issue but you’ll likely still need to do some grinding to be prepared for Shanks. Luckily, there’s plenty of missions to complete in the Dream Log to help you along the way.
I found playing a few story missions followed by a couple of Dream Logs, a good way to progress through both modes provide ways to improve all your characters. Characters seem to level up quickly in story mode (though you can only play as the Straw Hat Pirates), but Dream Log lets you improve your character’s stats quicker due to the way the improvement system works. While unlocking Shanks might seem like a daunting task at first, with some perseverance, you’ll have a character ready for the challenges that lie beyond Shanks…